Ever feel like you have so much going on you lose track what you should be working on?
Happens to me. It can be a damn hard thing to combat.
But there’s a secret solution.
I call it clearing your cache.
If you’re into self-helpy bullshit, you’ll find tons of people suggest making to-do lists the night before, about planning their week on Sundays, about avoiding email in the morning, or having their daily calendar emailed to them first thing…
I tried most of these. Some help. Others don’t. But none of them work as well for me as clearing my cache.
What’s a cache?
A browser cache is basically a stored version of a website on your drive so you can access it faster.
In sorts, a cache is a lot like the cognitive load you carry around.
The more shit you have to do, the more things you have to remember. That’s more things you have to forget. Or, the more tasks you have rattling around inside your head to distract you from actually getting anything done at all.
So, what’s it mean to clear your cache?
Clearing your cache is about reducing your cognitive load. It’s about deliberately removing many things from the top of your mind so you can focus on one thing.
I like to start small. What’s one thing I could cross off my list quickly? Do it immediately.
What’s another small thing? Cross that off, too.
But the real power of cache-clearing comes in the form of routine.
I don’t mean the kind of routined, predictable, set-your-clock-to-it behavior. What I mean by routine, is intentionally structuring your day around the things you know you must complete. Define the amount of time you have to do those things. Then devote only that amount of time to them.
This kind of behavior allows me to forget things until it’s time to do them. It reduces my cognitive load and frees me up to focus on the task at hand.
But it’s not easy. It takes practice.
Start with today.